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Ava Szajna-Hopgood

Editorial Assistant

Personal Brief

A born and bred South Londoner, Ava survived five formative years in rural North Yorkshire by sneaking in to every gig she could get to, writing zines and planning parties. At 18, she turned up to the wrong degree at Goldsmiths but decided American Literature (and New Cross circa Nu Rave) would do nicely. She worked as creative director of an online news start up for four years before choosing to focus on her writing full-time and becoming freelance in 2015. 

Ava now works as editorial assistant at Run Riot and Village Underground, as well as writing for Vice's Munchies, The Debrief and Chickpea Magazine. Frustrated by the lack of vegan options in London, Ava set up her own vegan blog and catering kitchen, Guac & Roll, in 2012 and runs plant-based supper clubs in Berlin, Manchester and London. She likes sparky ideas, detail and deadlines, and above all, making it happen.

Artists on your radar, shout them out!

Loyle Carner, Ought and Novella

Which is your number one location - and what's it best for?

Soup Kitchen in Manchester's Northern Quarter is a favourite for going to see a band in cramped conditions downstairs before unfurling into the bar upstairs until the early hours. In London, Dalston's Rio Cinema always go that extra mile, and I love the diversity of the programming at Village Underground.

'Getting creative', what's it all about?

Believing that the future can be better than the present, and that you have the power to make it so. 

Your Life, Right Now - what's the soundtrack?

I've been listening to a lot of Bee Gees, Loyle Carner and Ry Cooder. I also can't get enough of Jonny Greenwood's score for Inherent Vice. 

What is your idea of a jolly good time?

Some sprawling, rambling night. I'm always disappointed when people start heading home before dawn, so I suppose aperitifs in the little bars dotted behind Kingsland Road, dinner, a great show, drinks afterwards, a club, another club, and perhaps a long walk home. The debrief makes the night.

What happened the last time you were a complete disgrace?

Nothing I'd want to commit to this keyboard, but rest assured it was a night that began by learning to saber open bottles of champagne.